Deer Harvest Dips Throughout West Central Illinois While State Numbers Increase

By Ali Pyle on December 11, 2020 at 5:25am

Overall state deer harvest from the two firearm seasons are up across the state. West Central Illinois deer harvest totals were a mixed group. IDNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says the state was just a bit ahead of last year: “We ended up just a little bit ahead of where we were last year, so hunters this year had a preliminary harvest of 76,579 compared with 75,417 last year, so we’re up just about 1,000.” 

In county-by-county comparisons, totals were down in Brown County with 970 taken last year to the 946 taken during this year’s season . Cass was up from last year with a total of 652 compared to last year’s 599. Greene County was also up this year with a total of 1,066 deer harvested compared to last year’s 1,043. Macoupin County was below 2019’s total of 1,557 by 22, down to 1,535. Morgan County was only down slightly from 2019’s total — 632 last year down to 627. Pike County, usually the state’s deer hunting capital, was down this year. Pike harvested 1,929 last year compared to this season’s 1,871. Schuyler County was down slightly from the previous year at 1,282 compared to last year’s total of 1,316. Sangamon County was up to 555, compared to last year’s 524. Scott County was down slightly with 2019’s total of 319 to this year’s 311. 

Despite it’s lowered total this year, Pike was the #6 best place to get a deer. Randolph, Adams, Jackson, Fulton, and Jefferson were the top 5 in that order for deer harvested this year. 26 counties in the state had over 1,000 deer harvested during the firearm seasons. Official numbers will be released for totals across all seasons late in January. Torbert says there are still a few opportunities upcoming for deer hunting: “We still have a muzzleloader only season, and that’s actually this weekend, so if you have muzzleloader tags, this weekends the time to get out. We have our late winter Antler List only deer season and our CWD deer season. Now, the CWD deer season is only in designated counties.” 

For more information on current deer hunting seasons and full totals, visit the Illinois Department of Resource website.